You have probably already seen, but talks are currently ongoing over proposals from Universities UK (UUK) to radically change the USS pension scheme.
The key element of these changes is the plan to end guaranteed pension payments, which would mean a loss more than £200,000 over the course of a retirement for a typical member of staff.
UUK’s proposal is that – apart from death and incapacity benefit – USS should now become what is called a fully defined contribution (DC) scheme.
In effect this means that your final pension is no longer guaranteed, but instead will be wholly dependent upon returns from the stock market on your ‘investment’.
This proposal has been made despite the fact that USS themselves have shown that most employers can afford to pay more to help secure existing benefits and despite the fact that a majority of employers who responded to UUK’s own consultation said they wanted to retain a defined benefit scheme.
What can we do?
Talks are currently ongoing at a national level but are due to end on 18 December.
UCU are currently balloting members over strike action, and are planning strikes for February should these talks fail.
We need to make sure that there is strong local oppositon in each institution, and so we will be calling on IWGB members to support any strikes at the University of London AND campaigning vigorously in 2018 against these changes!
We’ve also written to Kim Frost to clarify what the UoL position is in relation to these changes.